MURDER USA UPDATE: Dead identified in Severn group home fire; four fires set by group home residents in arson spree in recent months across Maryland

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Investigators sift through the remains of a group home for clues. photo ATF

 

MURDER USA Three dead in Severn group home fire; four fires set by group home residents in arson spree in recent months across Maryland

Severn Fatal Dwelling Fire Update

MILLERSVILLE, Md. – The cause of the fire that killed three people in Severn on Saturday night remains under investigation by members of the Anne Arundel County Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit. Investigators remained on the scene Saturday night until the middle of the afternoon Sunday. They are being assisted by members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives who bring additional assets to the investigation. The cause of the fire remains undetermined. Investigators are still requesting that anyone with video or pictures from the fire, especially before the arrival of firefighters, contact them at 410-222-TIPS.

The deceased have been positively identified and next of kin notified:

Walter McCardell, 61, resident
William Garcia, 44, resident
Barbara Brown, 65, employee, a resident of Brooklyn
Just after 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, Anne Arundel County 9-1-1 began receiving multiple calls reporting a home on fire in the 7900 block of Stone Hearth Road. The first arriving firefighters reported heavy fire from the rear of the single-family dwelling. Occupants of the home who had been alerted by working smoke alarms and escaped before firefighters arrived advised them that someone was possibly still inside. Firefighters immediately made entry and removed one adult who was declared deceased on the scene. During additional searches, two more adult victims were found deceased. Four other occupants escaped without injury.
The fire was extinguished in about an hour by 45 firefighters from Anne Arundel County, Fort Meade and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
The three fatalities are the first fire-related deaths in Anne Arundel County in 2018.

MILLERSVILLE, Md. – Following several other arson fires in group homes in recent months, another fire in a group home in Maryland has claimed three lives, according to Anne Arundel Fire Department Spokesman Captain Russ Davies.

Just after 10:45 p.m. Anne Arundel County 9-1-1 began receiving multiple calls reporting a home on fire in the 7900 block of Stone Hearth Road. The first arriving firefighters reported heavy fire from the rear of the single-family dwelling. Occupants of the home who had escaped before firefighters arrived advised them that someone was still possibly inside. Firefighters immediately made entry and removed one adult who was declared deceased on the scene. During additional searches, two more adult victims were found deceased. Four other occupants escaped without injury.

The deceased include two adult male residents and one female worker at the home operated by the Arundel Lodge. The deceased have been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for positive identification and autopsy. Identities will be released once the victims are positively identified and notifications are made to families.

The fire was extinguished in about an hour by 45 firefighters from Anne Arundel County, Fort Meade and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Members of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit remained on the scene overnight. It has been determined that there were working smoke alarms in the home. The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation. Investigators are requesting that anyone with video or pictures from the fire contact them at 410-222-TIPS.

 

According to the Arundel Lodge, the program that operates the facility of the fatal fire, their operation is described as follows:

“The Residential Rehabilitation Program (RRP) provides housing for people with behavioral health disorders and includes specialized services for those who are deaf, chemically addicted, elderly and/or have complicated somatic issues, or need intensive supervision. The Arundel Lodge Residential Rehabilitation Program (RRP) provides supported housing accommodations for 110 persons in need. Our 32 homes are integrated into Anne Arundel County residential communities as we partner with friends and neighbors.”

Investigators sift through the remains of a group home for clues. photo ATF

Group Homes Prime Targets for Arson by Residents;
Three Burn in Week

PIKESVILLE, MD. — One of the greatest days for a family with an adult child facing disabling mental or physical issues is the day that young adult can be placed in a group home. Independence, self-reliance, even a job is on the horizon. For those families, the arrests of three people charged with arson fires in three group homes in different sections of Maryland is likely to send a shock wave through all those with a family member in any of the scores of such facilities in Maryland or elsewhere.

The Maryland State Fire Marshals arrested two men in Carroll County, and one man in St. Mary’s County in separate incidents just days apart. Two of the men have troubled backgrounds with violent crimes including jail time, prior to being admitted to a group home. Family members of other adults, as well as neighbors of the group homes, may not be aware of these backgrounds until firetrucks show up in the middle of the night.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has concluded an investigation into a house fire with the arrest of a 19-year-old occupant of the home.

 

Tayvone Emmanuel Warren charged with arson of group home in St. Mary’s County Aug. 28, 2017

  Fire investigators report that on August 22, 2017, at approximately 12:50 a.m. at 23820 N. Patuxent Beach Road, California, Md., Firefighters from Bay District and surrounding volunteer fire departments responded for a kitchen fire that resulted in nearly $75,000 in damage to the structure and contents of a group home.  Twenty-seven firefighters brought the blaze under control within 30 minutes. The property owned by Pathways of St. Mary’s County was occupied by two residents who had both escaped without injury.

The subsequent investigation revealed one of the occupants, Tayvone Emmanuel Warren, 19, of 33 Keepsake Place, Waldorf, Md., was responsible for intentionally igniting the fire with combustibles placed on the stovetop which then spread to the rest of the kitchen.  Smoke and soot spread throughout the remainder of the one-story single family home.  Warren was transported to the St. Mary’s County MedStar Hospital on an Emergency Petition on the night of the fire for evaluation.  He was placed into custody upon his release on Aug. 28, 2017, and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center without incident.

Investigators say that Warren has been charged with 1st Degree Arson and Reckless Endangerment and is awaiting a bond review.

Malicious arson by a person to the group home in which he is a resident is risky business for being granted bail.

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Pathways treats and services patients with mental disabilities and operate day care facilities for its patients as well as counseling services.

Pathways states on the private non-profit organization’s website the following: “Since 1981, Pathways has been providing innovative mental health services to persons in Southern Maryland.  Headquartered in St. Mary’s County, we are a private, nonprofit corporation.  We offer comprehensive treatment to persons of all ages. We also offer rehabilitation, and vocational services as well as affordable housing to older teens and adults. We are the longest operating and largest provider of community-based mental health services in St. Mary’s County.”

Funding for Pathways comes, in part, from tax dollars from the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and Human Services.

A group home for juvenile offenders in Chaptico in St. Mary’s County, was torched by a resident of the youth center next to Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic church in 1993. When the building was left in ashes, the facility next rented a large building in Prince Frederick for its program dealing with juvenile offenders. That building was also burned in an arson case.

Warren entered a guilty plea on July 11, 2017, to theft in a plea deal with Charles County States Attorney Anthony Covington. THE DEAL: In return for his guilty plea charges of resisting arrest and assault were dropped, with a sentence of 52 days in jail. Court records show Warrant was committed to jail on July 11, 2017.

A charge of burglary in St. Mary’s County was placed against Warren on June 12, 2016, by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy Ball. In a plea deal on Sept. 27, 2016, St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz put the charge on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time.

NEW WINDSOR MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON AFTER SETTING FIRE & ASSAULTING EMPLOYEES WITH FIRE EXTINGUISHER

 

Loretta House arson fire set by a resident of a group home in Chaptico, Md. After this facility was destroyed in 1992, the organization that operated the group home for juvenile criminal offenders moved to a large building in Prince Frederick, and it was also destroyed in an arson fire. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

WINDSOR, MD – While other residents and staff of a group home in Carroll County cowered behind a locked door to escape an alleged pyromaniac trying to set fire to them as they called 911 for help, fire investigators report the man then discharged a chemical fire extinguisher under the door when his attempt to burn the people out failed.

The man went berserk, say investigators because a staffer had turned down a demand for a video game, setting off the pyromaniacal incident.

Deputy State Fire Marshals charged a New Windsor man with arson-related charges when it was determined he maliciously discharged a fire extinguisher after he had attempted to ignite a fire at the group home where he resided.

On August 25, 2017, at approximately 7:15 PM staff members at Benchmark Human Services located at 3026 Buffalo Road in New Windsor called 911 after a client, later identified as David Lee Fisher, 29, attempted to set fire to a closed office door, where employees were located.  After unsuccessfully attempting to ignite the door, Fisher retrieved a fire extinguisher, placed the nozzle under the door and proceeded to discharge the unit.

Fisher was able to escape the group home and was quickly located and detained by responding Deputies with Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.  Fisher was transported to Carroll Hospital Center for an emergency evaluation and the Office of the State Fire Marshal was requested to investigate. Investigators later determined the fire was incendiary in nature (arson) and was caused by Fisher using a makeshift lighter consisting of a lighter and cologne.  Two employees and two clients were transported by EMS for inhalation of the dry chemical fire extinguishing powder. All four have since been discharged.

 

 

David Lee Fisher charged with trying to set fire to the office where staff and other residents were barricaded in a group home.

Deputy State Fire Marshals obtained a warrant charging Fisher with Arson 1st Degree, Malicious Burning 2nd Degree, (2) counts of 2nd Degree Assault, (4) counts of Reckless Endangerment and Malicious Destruction of Property less than $1,000.00.  Carrol County Sheriff’s Office later arrested Fisher at Carroll Hospital Center where he was subsequently transported to Carroll County Detention Center where is awaiting a bond review.

Faith Charged with Arson

WESTMINSTER, MD — Investigators with the Office of the State Fire Marshal have charged Brian Allen Faith, 28, on Aug. 28, 2017, with arson-related charges following an investigation into a fire on a mattress inside a two-story single-family group home owned by Benchmark Human Services.

The incident originally occurred on Sunday, August 27, 2017, at 1382 Alison Court in Westminster, Carroll County.  Four firefighters from the Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department responded and found the fire had self-extinguished on the mattress inside the bedroom.  The investigation revealed that Faith had poured lighter fluid on the center of the mattress and intentionally ignited the small blaze causing an estimated $500 in damage to contents.  No injuries were reported as result of this incident.

Faith was transported to the Carroll County Detention Center and charged by Fire Marshal Kristen Nieberlein with: 1st Degree Arson, 2nd Degree Arson, 2nd Degree Malicious Burning and six counts of Reckless Endangerment. He is currently being held without bail.

Brian Allen Faith charged with arson and assault in an attempt to torch occupied group home. Aug. 28, 2017.

Faith, of Sykesville, Md., was charged assault and three counts of a fourth-degree sex offense on July 14, 2011. On Oct. 12, 2016, the Washington County State’s attorney dropped all the charges.

Court records show that charges of sending a threat to a public official, burglary, and assault were all dropped but also that he was incarcerated from July 15, 2011, to July 13, 2016.

Benchmark Human Services is a corporation with facilities and programs in eleven states, including Maryland and provides this information on its website: “Benchmark Human Services uses innovative and effective solutions to assist children and adults with disabilities to reach their maximum potential. Combining best practices with mission-driven services, our mission is to help children and adults with disabilities and persons with mental illness live as independently as possible and be included in the community.”

Fourth Group Home Arson in Four Days

Three charged in the arson of shed at Southern Maryland Youth Home on October 29, 2017, at 9830 Sodus Manor Place in Faulkner, Charles County.

FAULKNER, MD. – Maryland Fire Marshals have charged a 14-year-old teen with first-degree arson after officials say he set fire to a mattress with a cigarette lighter and heated metal object and threw them at other residents of the group home. The group home is the fourth Maryland group home at which a resident has been charged with arson in less than four days.

The Southern Maryland Group Home is located at 9830 Sodus Manor Place in Faulkner and has eight residents. The structure is a wooden two-story house that last sold for $575,000 in 2005 and was built in 1945.

The Bel Alton Fire Department responded to the fire and the fire marshal reported that the fire was not intense enough to set off smoke detectors and noted that there is not a sprinkler system in the Group Home.

An investigation by the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal revealed that a flammable liquid was poured onto countertops within the shed and ignited.  Zorro, an accelerant detection canine with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, was requested at the initial investigation and alerted in several locations throughout the shed.  Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be $5,000.00

At the conclusion of the criminal investigation, Deputy State Fire Marshals were able to charge 3 juveniles with maliciously igniting the fire.  On December 22, 2017, two juveniles, ages 14 and 15 were charged with Arson in the 2nd Degree and released back to the custody of the Southern Maryland Youth Home.  The third juvenile, 17 years of age was charged with Malicious Burning and later released to a Baltimore City Department of Social Services worker.

The older would-be pyromaniac teenager went from the frying pan into the fire as he was committed to a Maryland version of a reform school at Cheltenham, Md., about thirty miles north of the Group Home on Rt. 301. The officials of the Cheltenham Youth Facility might not allow the criminally-charged juvenile to possess a cigarette lighter in their structure.

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